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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  May 31, 2010 3:30am-4:30am EDT

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this sunday, day 41 of the oil disaster in the gulf. when will the leak be plugged? after his visit to the gulf coast on friday, is the president in control or simply playing catch p. joining us, white house energy advisor carol browner. then a nation divided over immigration and securing america's border with mexico. this morning the debate about the president's decision to send 1200 additional troops to the border, and arizona's controversial get-tough law. with us, congressman luis gutierrez, democrat of ill snoi, versus former republican from arizona and senate j. difficult hayworth. the ill spill, immigration and the revelation that former president clinton was enlisted to offer congressman joe sestak
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a government position to stay out of the pennsylvania senate race. analysis this morning from david brooks of "the new york times" and e.j. dionne of "the washington post." captions paid for by nbc-universal television good morning. the leak has not been plugged. the latest effort to stop the flow of oil from that broken well in the gulf called top kill has now been declared a failure. the move had been promising a few days ago. now yet another procedure must be attempted. the president issued a statement last night saying this news is as, quote, enraging as it is heartbreaking. here with us now live this morning is bp's managing director robert dudley. welcome to "meet the press." >> good morning, david. >> what went wrong? >> david, we made three attempts to wrestle this beast to the ground by pumping heavy fluids into it. we were unable to overcome the
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flow. the scientists and engineers from bp and the government reviewed the data and determined the next best option was that we needed to move as fast as possible to a containment operation which we were beginning already, which will contain the flow and produce it to the surface. >> i want to put up the live picture of the flow we're talking about and ask you a couple of questions about it. this is just an amazing picture. first of all, you look at this thing and think, can't you go in there and shove something on top of it and stop it? would you explain how difficult it is in 5,000 feet below the sea level with that kind of pressure to do that? >> we have to do everything by robots, remote operated vehicles. they virtually had to go down and construct a small city of architecture of pipes and manifolds and pumpings an connect them with the robots. we had the problem of a well flow coming up through a top, through a blow-out preventer, that we had to inject fluids into a blow-out preventer.
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in the end, too much of the mud we were injecting came back up out of the well. we were not able to overcome it. now we want to capture and contain and limit the oil on the surface and in the water. >> you've tried containment before unsuccessfully. what makes you think this new attempt will work? >> good question. very early days we went down with a dome to contain it. what we found is that there's so much natural gas in what comes out of this well, it immediately forms an unusual thing called hydrates which are ice crystals which createed the dome to float. this one we'll have concentric pipes, pumping warmer sea water to keep the temperature in the right range, a little methanol, and that's the way we want to prevent the problem we had before. the objective is to contain the majority of the flow this way. >> what are the chances this works? >> i think the engineering on this is more simple than the top kill. what we need to do is go down with the robots, diamond cut
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saws, slice off the top of the riser with a clean surface. the flow rates shouldn't be that much higher and then drop over this containment. it will be a four to seven-day operation. i think the probability of it working is much different than the top kill. >> different? does that mean better? >> better, absolutely better. >> you think we'll know by about four days? >> i think by the end of the week, as you know, 5,000 feet of water, no humans can go down there. we're reliant on the robots. these guys working offshore are incredible skilled at this. we've been asking them to do the equivalent of open heart surgery on television for everyone. they are very, very careful people that check pressures and temperatures and connections. i would say by the end of the week. >> i want to put up the live picture of the oil flow again. i'd like you to kind of level with the american people. how much oil is spilling into the gulf on a daily basis? >> we honestly do not know.
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the original estimates which were government and bp estimates together, primarily unified estimates of 5,000 barrels a day were based on satellite pictures. we've always found this is a difficult oil to measure because of the huge amounts of gas in the oil. the new estimate range of i think 12 to 19,000 barrels has been issued without an actual flow measurement. the one thing about this method we're about to go into, it will and should measure the majority of the flow. >> if this doesn't work, do you have additional things you can try, or do you effectively have to stall and do what you can until a relief well is in place in august? >> well, the backstop and always the backstop will be the relief well in august. the engineers are going to take the data and science and try to kill the well. if the containment is successful and we can put in place a longer-term containment program which is effectively producing the well, then that will
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minimize the amount of oil on the ocean. so that's the traezoffs we want to make. we don't want to do anything that creates a bigger problem than we have now. we've been very careful not to do that before. so we'll see. >> it's stunning the fact that bp with all your expertise did not have a better contingency plan than you appear to have. it's been noted the ad hoc nature of what you're doing, trying one thing and then another and unsuccessfully so. the president is angry about that and feels, frankly, misled by the industry. did the industry mislead government about the danger of what it was doing and what would happen if something went terribly wrong at this level? >> well, we're angry, too. we understand the anger of the people, particularly those whose livelihoods have been affected on the gulf coast. this is an unprecedented accident. these blowout preventers which have been used all around the world and used on more than
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5,000 deep water wells in the gulf of mexico have not failed before. there are multiple levels of failure redundancies in those blowout preventeders. we want to find out why this has happened. the whole world will change as a result of this and the industry so it never happens anywhere again. >> my question is where the industry misled government, straightforward question. did the industry mislead government? >> i don't think so. the industry -- all around the world these pieces of equipment are inspected regularly. in the u.s. they're inspected every 14 days. this is a very unusual failure. we need to find out why. we need to learn from it and change the industry for good. >> final question, sir. we were told by the company last night we'd be speaking to ceo tony hayward. apparently that changed or somebody was wrongly informed. my question is, when this immediate crisis is over, mr. hayward is, metaphorically speaking the captain of this ship. should he resign? >> well, tony hayward has been
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here since the very beginning. he's been spending time in the engineering control centers, he's been out on the rigs, visiting with the governors, meeting in the communities that have been affected. very early days he said we're not going to stand behind statutory limits of liability. we're going to take full responsibility for it. we're going to make good for it. we spent nearly a billion dollars on this cleanup effort. i think he's done a great job of leading a company to stand up and do the right thing. we realize the frustrations out there. we're trying to make good so people don't miss boat payments and house payments. we set up claims offices all across the country and we've been able to bring in four rigs and teams from around the world and respond to it. >> so tony hayward should keep his job? >> i think tony is doing a fantastic job. >> and he should stay in that job? >> i think so. >> mr. dudley, we'll leave it there. thank you very much. >> thank you. we now turn to white house energy and climate change adviser carol browner. welcome back to "meet the
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press." >> thank you. >> accountability aside. it is just sort of shocking that we're in this position where something else hasn't worked. what's the president think about all this? >> as the president said, it's both enraging and heartbreaking. obviously getting this well under control, getting it closed is the high eftd priority, but also being responsible to the people of the gulf communities. the president was down there on friday. we had a very long, a very good conversation with the governors, with the parish presidents. they noted more things they wanted done. we've taken that seriously. we'll be responding to that in the next couple days. we want to continue working with the governors and the parish presidents to deal with what is now going to be a much different situation. there could be oil coming up till august when the relief wells are dug. i think, david, it's important to know there's not just one being dug, there are two. we insisted -- the government insisted that there be a second one in case something went wrong with the first one. in the meantime, our scientists have been down there, dr. chu
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has been leading a team of 150 scientists. it was dr. chu's team that said to bp yesterday we're very, very concerned, if you continue to put pressure into that well something even worse could happen. that's when we turned to this containment exercise which, you know, everyone is going to do everything they can to ensure that it works. >> let me break one thing down. you heard from mr. dudley from bp. he thinks there's a better shot at containment now than even perhaps what they had with what they were doing with the top kill. is that the government's view as well? >> well, the top kill would have shut it down. we or now going to move into a situation where they're going to attempt to control the oil coming out, move it to a vessel, take it onshore. obviously that's not the preferred scenario. we always knew the relief well was the permanent way to close this, to get it killed so there wasn't oil coming up while the relief well was being drilled was the second option. now we move to the third option which is to contain it. you asked very good questions
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which is why would this work versus the other containments? >> it's going to be a cap, a snugger fit. they've learned a lot from the first big coffer dam effort. our scientists will be on the scene asking questions, giving advice if we think something isn't going right. >> the bottom line is -- i should say the bottom line is the chanceses are very high that nothing is going to work until a relief well is in place. all these attempts are still basically low percentage plays. we're looking at an oil free-throw that goes on until august. >> we are prepared for the worst. we have been prepared from the beginning. we will continue to assume that we move into the worst case scenario which is as you point out, there is some oil leaking up to the surface, and we will continue to prepare for that. >> how much oil is coming out every day? >> it's important for people to understand that is a hard
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question to answer. what we did is put together an independent government review panel to look at this. it's important to know it's independent. bp has a financial interest in these numbers. they will pay penalties at the end of the day, per-barrel, per-day penalty. what we wanted is a group that didn't include bp. they looked at three issues to determine the flow rate. they looked at what was happening on the surface using satellite imagery. they looked at what had come up through the riser insertion which has now been removed, and they also looked at the burn rates and they looked at the plume. so based on those three groups, there were differences among the groups. that's how scientists are. they have differences. when they came back together, they put forth the number of between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels. they're going to continue to look at this. if we are able to start capturing all of the oil, we will then have a better tool to determine precisely how much. >> i want to talk little about accountability. before i do that, you're the
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president's top environmental adviser. what is the scale of this environmental disaster? >> this is probably the biggest environmental disaster we've ever faced in this country. it's certainly the biggest oil spill and we're responding with the biggest environmental response. >> what does that mean? that's tough to hear, the biggest environmental disaster the country has ever faced. >> it's tough to hear. i'm a lifelong environmentalist and from florida. >> break that down. >> it means more oil is leaking in the gulf of mexico than any other time in our history. it means there's more oil than the exxon valdez. >> the ecological impact? >> the good news is, if flies good news here is we have a lot of systems in place to manage and decrease the amount of oil that comes onshore. for example, more than 80 burns have been conducted. these burns are highly successful, they corral the oil, they can't do it all the time. weather conditions don't always allow. secondly, there is booming in place. the president visited some of the booming.
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they're able to capture the pellets, the slicks of oil that come onshore. finally there is the skimming. there are over 1400 vessels in this part of the gulf of mexico. we're using skimmers that skim up the oil sheen, i think over 11 billion barrels of oil and water that have been skimmed up. all that is going to continue. >> the president says the buck stops with him. he was in the gulf coast on friday saying that. the government is now trying to make a big show, frankly, that it's in control and ordering bp to do things. give me an example of something the government ordered bp to do and they didn't want to do? >> one example, bp said we're going to drill one relief well. these are expensive. we said, that's not good enough. you're going to drill a second one. yesterday stephen chu and his team said you can't continue to put downward pressure. the industry has technology, bp,
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we need them for that. don't make mistake -- >> did the government ordered bp to stop the top kill? >> it was stopped. >> bp is still the first line who knows what to do to stop this. even more, steven chu won the nobel prize and is obviously involved. isn't bp still running the operation? they have the best technology and nknow-how to stop this. >> you're right. they manage the robots, put in place all the equipment that has to be staged on the ocean floor. at the end of the day the government tells bp what to do. at the end of the day we will hold bp accountable form all the cost associated with this. >> will you get the $75 million cap lifted? >> we certainly hope so. we've asked congress to lift it. that's changing the law. let's focus on i think what's happening here and now. bp hs said repeatedly they mean
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to pay for all the costs. we take all as all and we will make sure they pay for all the costs. >> let's talk about government's role here. this week part of our "meet the press" across america forum, are interviewed minnesota governor tim pawlenty. he laid out criticism you saw against the administration. let's play that. >> what we do know is this. this crisis was the result of negligence or a malfunction. this rig was approved on this administration's watch. there's going to have to be a review of what was reviewed, why it was reviewed. there was decision making on the ground, on the platform on the day of the crisis that may have contributed to the problem. and as to the cleanup operations, there's lots of concern. why aren't more skimmers out there? why aren't they working longer hours? why did they rely just on bp early on to tell us what the volume of the leak was? why didn't we independent verify that using government sources? why weren't booms replaced more frequently once they became
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saturated and re-leaked oil. there's going to be a lot of those questions that may very wellpoint back to this administration or the president. he wants to say he's in charge, that's great. i'm glad he's assuming responsibility and accountability. i wish he would have done it earlier. >> the real question is. is the president now in control or is he playing catchup? >> he's been in control from the beginning. the rig fell on april 22nd. a number of us joined the president in the office that evening to fully brief him. since this time he's been up to date, current, he's in charge. we have admiral al en, the national incident commander who is watching this on an hour-by-hour basis. i'm the point person in the white house. welso have our cabinet fully deployed. homeland security, d.o.d., e.p.a., interior to noaa. this is a very, very large disaster. we are employing all our resources. >> one of the things the president said is, look, problem
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with regulation. government was too cozy with the industry in terms of government regulators. they had no contingency plan. we asked mr. dudley, how could you be drilling at 5,000 feet and not have a real contingency plan if something goes wrong. the government regulators, mms, they were apparently working on this for 15 months. my question is why wasn't the administration's priority, working on the lack of regulatory control, working on this lack of a contingency plan instead of focusing on upping domestic production and doing more drilling which is what the president with your advice has suggested be done? >> first of all, let's take mms. from the beginning ken salazar was focused on the ethics issues. you're right. it was way too cozy, a legacy of serious u serious problems. he came in, they put in brand new ethics requirements. it's important to know mms doesn't exist anymore and the reason is because there were inherent conflicts.
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you had one entity issuing permits, collecting the royalties, collecting the revenues and enforcing the law. that has now been broken into three component parts, a very significant change. i found the governor's comments interesting about what went wrong and how did it go wrong. there will be a full investigation. we will all understand, the american people understand exactly what happened here. we've also appointed a commission so we can make decisions -- >> mrs. browner, you're looking forward. i'm asking the simple question of not just the cozy relationship. the president again and again have cited a lack of contingency planning. what if something went terribly wrong. it was reported he's been telling aides privately, i guess we've been misled by the industry. mms, this administration didn't sufficiently work on the lack of contingency planning before moving ahead with more drilling. wasn't that a mistake that can be understood now, not down the road? >> david, i think that we have to understand all of these
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things. but i do think it's important to understand these wells have been drilled for several decades now. there have not been these kind of accidents. going forward, we have to change what we're doing because there was an accident. we have to learn from this accident n. the interim we have shut down all deep water drilling in the gulf of mexico until we have an answer to, one, how can you make sure that these operations are safe, that there are redunn den sees in place. to your point, secondly, what happens when those redunn den sees don't work? we have to understand both of those before we go forward. we will understand both of these before we go for ward. >> you go back to the clinton administration where there was thought to be more emphasis on environmental protection than there was on exploration of sources of energy. in the bush administration, the criticism was, far too much concentration on energy production, not enough on the environment. and here you are now working for president obama saying, yes, we ought to do additional drilling. is the problem that we're drilling in water that's just
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too deep? should you even rethink your own approach to the environment to say maybe in the arctic wildlife reserve we ought to be drilling there, we ought to be going into shallower water so this can be done more safely? >> there's a lot of -- i think on the shallow waters, the distinction is you can get to the wellhead if something goes wrong in shallow water, and you can -- there's mechanisms to shut that down. you're asking all the right questions on deep water. we have to answer those questions before we proceed. that is why all those operations have been shut down. in the arctic they've been shut down. in the gulf of mexico they've been shut down, including 33 rigs that were out there drilling right now, which we understand is going to be hard on those people. >> as an environmentalist, i'm asking you have you rethought your position? >> i want to see what the investigation tells us and what our commission has to say. at the end of the day we will make the right decision in terms of ensuring that our environment is protected, ensuring we have all the information to make those decisions. >> ms. browner, we'll leave it
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there. thank you very much. coming up next, a nation divided. the debate over immigration reform and the president's decision to send more troops to the border. congressman luis gutierrez and j.d. hayworth square off. political analysis from david brooks and e.j. dionne only on "meet the press." - he volunteered. - we were drafted. - she enlisted. - and off we went to asia. - to europe. - the g-lf. - to do our duty. - to serve our country. - we were buddies. - shipmates. - best of friends. - i'll never forget his courage. - her dedication. - the way he made you laugh. - and i'll remember him. - remember her. - i'll remember them. always. ♪ [ male announcer ] we call it the american renewal. because ge capital understands what businesses need to grow.
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we are back talking about a nation divided over immigration.
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joined by the chair of the immigration task force for the democratic caucus, congressman luis grrz and former congressman from arizona j.d. hayworth. welcome both of you. you've been debating this for years, even on this program. yet we still don't have comprehensive reform. we do, however, congressman have news from the administration. they're going to send down 1200 additional national guard troops to the southwest border. you have called this sound byte driven politics. does it make any difference to send all those troops down there? >> i think in the absence of a holistic approach to comprehensive immigration reform, it really isn't going to solve the problem. i think you've probably been to a graduation or two. so have i. we know that thousands of those students that come here on student visas aren't going home. it's summer wechlt see all the tourists here in washington, d.c. we know thousands of those tourists aren't going home. we know there are workers coming here on temporary work permits who aren't all going home.
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40% of all the undocumented workers, u our undocumented population came here legally and overstayed their visas. even if you shut down the border, it won't answer the total question. i'm proposing we looks at it from a hole ligs tick perspective. i understand the frustration at the border. i understand the border is a necessary component. in and of itself, it doesn't solve the problem. >> you're in a tough primary fight with senator mccain who wants 6,000 additional troops down at the border. if you look at this dispatch from "the washington post" today, the first paragraph talks about 687 illegal immigrants in a 24-hour period last week. is 1200 enough? is it neither here nor there in terms of a response? >> let me begin on the point of unanimity because this is a contentious question. i know we want to pause and give thanks to those who gave the devotion this past memorial weekend. i think the negotiation of 1200 guardsmen is woefully
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inadequate. when you check the press accounts, we hear the president of mexico and the government of mexico, not content on lecturing the state of arizona and the majority of american citizens from a joint session of congress, now instructed the state department, hey, if you're sending people there, don't have them enforce immigration laws. so what we're seeing right now asituation where you will have troops essentially working to maintain border patrol vehicles, change oil, change tires or work in the office dealing with computers. this is cosmetic. it is ineffective. because 1200 guardsmen across four states. do the math, that's 300 per state. >> from their point of view, is it simply a question of how many? would more be better. >> absolutely. like the book i wrote years ago "whatever it takes," the number is necessary. we're dealing with a national security crisis, not just with mexicans coming across the border. >> this is the scene in phoenix
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where you live. a massive protest on order of 20,000 protesters yesterday protesting the arizona law, protesting in favor of a more comprehensive approach. that's my question for both of you. congressman hayworth, i'll start with you. dealing with the fact that you've got two things, some 12 million illegal immigrants in the country and a culture in america where one is saying stopality the border, but please keep coming because we meade the labor. >> i would challenge a couple points with the premise of your question. first of all, americans understand that comprehensive immigration reform is a poll-tested phrase that essentially means amnesty. people want to see the laws enforced. to paraphrase mr. justice bran dies, when the government itself supports lawlessness, you end up with anarchy. the fact is we need not only to enforce the border, we need interior enforcement. let's take it away from the
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border, david, to the major cities in the northeast. for example, in new york city a policy was adopted called the broken windows theory of policing, where you enforce the law for infractions no matter how seemingly minor. as a result, overall crime drops. the sad fact is luis, and i got it document ph.d. the book, said he didn't like the term amnesty because it implied forgiveness. to this day luis has never answered the quirks do you believe crossing the border is not an illegal act when it's on the books that it is, in fact, illegal? >> but the question -- i don't think there's a question that it's illegal. it's also a matter of practicality and political will? are you doing to deport 12 million people back? answer the question, congressman, whatever this congressman says about whether that's a poll-tested phrase, there is such a thing as comprehensive immigration reform that deals with a legal path to citizenship for those that are
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already here reflecting the fact you can't deport 12 million people back to mexico. how do you secure one without the other? >> first of all, what you need is a comprehensive approach. we have a magnet. there are jobs. i've got a driver's license, it has my photo on it. i have a passport, when i go in and out of the country, the government swipes the pass portd and says, luis, you're ready to o come in, you're authorize. why can't we have a social security with a picture so when you go to get a job, you swipe it. if the employers don't use that card we send those employers to jail so we can be tough and stop the magnet of the jobs. but at the same time, let's be realistic. my friend j.d. simply wants them to disappear, as though this is the latest installment of a harry potter series. they're not going to disappear. they have deep roots in their communities. they're here. what i want to do is be fair and practical at the same time and resolve the issue of the undocumented status of workers in this country. what i'd like to do, simply do
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this, that little girl, that little second grade girl who asked the first lady, what about my mommy and her papers? i want to say to that mother, come and register with the government, go through a background check, pay a fine, go to the back of the line, learn english, make sure you learn all about our country, be the best american worker you can be so you can raise the best american citizen child. when that young little second grader is an adult, she can say my country stood by my mother and me and cherished our family values. >> the arizona law raised concern that federal laws were not being enforced to stop the flow across the border which i alluded to a moment ago. here is a political reality. we put our recent poll on the screen. 61% of those polled support that law. do you understand the frustration? arizona? >> absolutely. and their frustration is that the federal government has not assumed its rightful and
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obligatory responsibility to have immigration laws enforced in this country. if you ask those same people, well, do you agree with luis that we should go after employers and make sure they go to jail if they hire undocumented workers? they say yes. do you agree with luis that we should charge those people a fine and make them right with the law and make sure they learn english and that we bring them -- if you ask those same people, are you frustrated with the immigration laws? do you really think this is going to reduce crime? they say no, we don't think it will reduce crime. what we want to do is send a message to the federal government. they sent the message. understand their frustration. it's real. what i don't want to allow is to continue to exploit that frustration with simple sound bytes and not give a solution. i have a solution that will solve the undocumented status of people in this country and illegal i'm great lakes. >> we both got our copy of the bill. make no mistake. i have read it. >> you got the house version. i got senate. >> i've got both in front of me
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and i know about the amendments from one to the other. the big issue, is this an invitation for racial profiling? we can turn to the relevant section which is basically, i'm paraphrasing, a police officer may not consider race, color or national origin in the enforcement of this section except to the extent permitted by the united states or arizona constitution. it's right there in the law. it says no profiling. let me ask you a practical question. if you're driving down the street in phoenix and going too fast and a cop pulls you over, you're doing the same and the cop pulls you over, what else is he going to look at besides the fact that he's hispanic to ask for his paper. >> you set up a situation. first of all, luis and i are remarkably safe drivers. we're dealing with a hypothetical. if we were pulled over for speeder, the first request from a law enforcement professional would be to see our license, registration and proof of insurance. now, in some overheated political rhetoric, some people
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are saying, oh, they're asking for your papers. the fact is, and i'll quote right back to you, what it says at the conclusion of the senate bill. this act shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of united states citizens. what is has happened here is there has been a concerted effort to shift this from a question of enforcement which is a sound public policy priority we should have. it has now been changed that they're trying to shift this to a question of ethnicity and ethnic profiling, thinking there is some political benefit to be gained. that is not the case. >> congressman, no risk of profiling as you heard the congressman talk about? >> here is what's going to happen. the fact is that latinos have lived in the state of arizona before it was the state of arizona. there are families that go back generation after generation. yes, it is 'em oral day tomorrow. here is what's going to happen. there's going to be a group of
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guys that are going to play a soccer game, coming home. someone calls on the phone and says there's a disturbance, and they're going to ask somebody, do you have your documents? hey, i was out playing songer so i didn't bring my papers with me. by the way, i served in afghanistan, i served in iraq. because of that, they expedited my citizenship papers. can you come by my house and show you? will that do? that's what's going to happen. you're going to ask men and women who have served this nation for their papers merely because of the color of their skin. they paid the highest price, paid the highest tax, shown their devotion and love for this country and this country should do nothing to set them apart and distinguish them as a criminal element. that's the practicality of what's going to happen. look, the fact is that the latino community feels besieged upon. it feels as though the finger pointing is against them. that somehow they're a criminal element. that's not new. look, there have been distinctions, the germans in pennsylvania, the irish in massachusetts, the italians in new york. there's always been. let's stop that finger-pointing.
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let's get real solutions to our immigration problem, to our immigration crisis that we have in this country. what i want to say is, look, we've all walked into the store. you want to talk about racial profiling. we've walked in and seen the person washing dishes, the person in the stroller strolling the kids as we go off to work. we've seen who picks our fruit and who does our agricultural work. instead of simply looking at them, why don't we say, i'm not going to look at you, i want to make you a taxpayer, wantd to make you right with the law, teach you english, make you the best american i can. >> congressman hayworth, just as this country has done in the name of national crisis in the past during world war ii, that there will not be excesses, a denial of civil rights. what happens in practice is what matters here. this is a pretty hotly contested issue. people are getting hot under the collar all over the state of arizona and the country. >> i think it's important to
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deal with reality rather than fansful tales of what is. i respect the notion that freedom isn't free. also, we don't breed a culture of convenience. we breed a culture of law and order. i dare say that people are eased to show when called upon as law abiding american citizens that they're here legally. understand law enforcement professionals are undergoing training to make sure the law is applied in a just manner. the fact is, where we've gotten into trouble, david, is a failure of our government to enforce existing law. all arizona is saying is let's enforce the laws on the books and that's what we're working to do. >> final question to each of you on the politics of this. congressman, you're in, as i mentioned, a primary battle with senator mccain. you have acknowledged in that book that you've held up a couple times that going back to 2001, you actually believed in a guest worker program, believed in a path towards citizenship
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which you now call amnesty. senator mccain was a champion of comprehensive reform with senator kennedy back during the bush administration, but he's also been a consistent supporter of additional resources on the border. how does your position really differ from him? >> profoundly, because what happened 9/11 helped the scales fall from my eyes. i understand that national security is border security, and i understand that we must enforce the laws. you're right. what mr. mccain offers is first for political consumption a get-tough policy on the border. but then again he wants to bring back amnesty. i would remind the viewers that in the 2007 bill with the late senator kennedy, the heritage foundation estimated that long-term retirement benefits alone for illegals granted citizenship would be $2.6 trillion, so much for fiscal responsibility in my opponent. >> just to be fair, you were at odds with senator mccain on this, former president bush and
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a lot of other republicans who don't agree with your characterization that it's amnesty. >> but the bottom line is this. this is not partisan question. this is not a question of right versus left. it's right versus wrong. and apart from party distinction, americans want to see laws enforced, and they don't want to see amnesty. >> final point for you, congressman gutierrez. you were arrested in front of the white house recently, you've been critical with the white house in their handling of this. this is the picture may 1st of you being arrested. do you believe president obama has the political will to make immigration reform in a comprehensive way a priority? i mean a real priority? >> i think he's going to need to do that. >> he's not there yet? >> i don't think he's there yet. i think the president has to understand that simple political sound bytes is not what the american people want. they want practical solutions. he knows what the solution is to this issue. he has to demonstrate the political will and courage to take it on. let me just suggest once again,
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look, it is a bipartisan issue. i worked with senator mccain and senator kennedy. i introduced the bill in the house, a comprehensive bill. so it does exist. what doesn't exist is the political will. the american people, you know what they say to me? they say put aside the exploitation of our anger and our frustration. give us sensible, practical solutions. i have one. i'm going to sends employers to jail. i'm going to give everybody an i.d. so they're right with the law. i'm going to make sure they pay taxes and get ride with the law. does the president have the will? he hasn't demonstrated this. he responds easily by sending 1200 troops. it's a good rebeginning, but we see the rejection. there are those who only want to look at this from the state of arizona's person speculative. only the federal government can resolve it. >> i'll make that the last word. to be continue pd. thank you both for being here. up next. another tough plight kalt week
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we're back joined by "new york times" columnist david brooks and columnist for "the washington post," e.j. dionne. brooks and dionne, almost like the country music group: so much to get to. the president in his press conference summed it up with one line about what it is he's
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facing, that this crisis and accountability reaches to the edge of his bathroom when he's shaving. this is what he said. >> when i woke up this morning, and i'm shaving and malia knocks on the bathroom door and peeks in and saids, did you plug the hole yet daddy? >> it really comes back to this. i've been asked what does the president do to do a better job? you plug the leak is what you do. we heard the morning it hasn't happened. carol browner saying worst environmental disaster in the country's history. >> i think the frustrating thing is that we think government has all kinds of power, and then we discover that when something like this happens, whenever people who are antigovernment want the government to have power to do something, it turns out most of the capacity to stop this is in the hands of bp. i think the president had this ambiguity at the news conference where he kept saying we're in charge. but we all know that the equipment and basically most of the judgments are being made by a private company. so this puts him in a terrible
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position. and i think a question you kept asking in the earlier part of the show is one that hands me which is why isn't it that we, meaning bp in this case, weren't prepared for the worst possible case? i think we're going to sort of look at our whole environmental argument a little differently. environmentalist people always say, oh, those environmentalists only look at the worst case scenario. suddenly we're confronted with it. i think we're going to have to rethink on some of the very complicated things we're doing, deep water drilling being one of them, do we have to think more about the worst case scenario. >> look what we did in the government post 9/11, only the very possible scenario envisioned. that's why members of the administration go to secret locations to practice these. david brooks, how is the administration doing? >> it depends on what you expect. if you think government is the center of national life, the government can do everything, then you're disappointed. for those of us who don't expect that of government, who know
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there are limits to government power -- people say, he should do something, james carville says that. what exactly should he do? he doesn't have a degree in underwater engineering. i don't expect government will be able to do everything. we'll have to live with this, live with the awareness that there are limits to what government can do. i think this is a big moment, the failure of the top kill i think is a big moment. because we could be facing really weeks or months of that image. that image of the oil spewing out will become the central image of the year. for president obama who has had a really heroic presidency for the first year, now he's entering a period of limits to his power, limits to money. it's a different type of presidency. that image will be the core image of the year. >> the notion you can go to a live image of an oil leak that is out of control -- you talk about the split-screen version of a presidency, there it is
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now. this question that keeps coming up, is -- the shorthand in warn wash, is this obama's katrina? >> it's a huge problem for the president. david said the government can't do everything. i think almost everybody agrees with that. i think that's not the issue. the issue is what could government have done earlier on? we learned now from "the new york times" this morning that bp 11 months ago had a sense that they had a problem here. what was done about it? was there a role for the regulator to look into this -- to have a greater opportunity to look into this? we learned that the minerals management service, in some cases, the companies would fill out these forms in pencil and it would be ratified. so, yeah, we can't have government doing everything. but we're looking for more competent government which is what president obama promised. that's why this is such a big test for him. it's the worst test he could possibly face because government's capacity in this is limited. >> let me move on to another
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area of limitation for the administration, and that's politically. joe sestak who wants to be the senator from pennsylvania, the democrat, took on arlen specter, took on the white house even, was where you are just last week. and i asked him about the notion that the administration offered him a job to get out of the way. this is how the exchange went. >> what job were you offered to stay out of the primary race? >> interesting. i was asked a question about something that happened months earlier, and i felt i should answer it honestly. and that's all i had have to say about it. >> straightforward question. were you offered a job and what was the job? >> i was offered a job and answered that. >> the white house council put out a statement saying she was offered a government position on apartmental commission. it was bill clinton, the former president, dispatched by rahm emanuel to see whether he'd accept that and not run. david, what's the big issue here? >> the big issue is that the president has said he's tired of the small-minded politics in washington, he's exasperated by
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all the pettiness. if i see him not take a chance to be petty and small-mindnd add politics as usual, i'd like to see that. they practice the same rules everybody else practiceses, to give people jobs, to push people out of the races. it's not illegal or a big scandal. it's politics as usual. that's what they do. that's what most politicians do. i wish they wouldn't pre send so much they're not doing any of that stuff. >> e.j., is the bigger issue they seemed rather ham-handed, if you're going to use bill clinton, you should be able to carry something like this off? >> first of all, the original thing here is bragging by joe sestak during the primary where he's trying to make the point, i'm standing up to the obama people hundreding against specter. he put it on the table himself and there's a blowback afterward. i think david is right in the sense that the notion somehow offering somebody a job connected to politics, if that were uniformly enforced, god
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knows how many people would go to jail. what they've done here is constructed a story which we all hope is true, that seems to get around any legal restriction on offering the guy a job. >> we're better than washington, better than the lame brains of press where that's been the underlying theme. when you match it to the things they actually do, it just doesn't match up. >> we did this "meet the press" forum in minnesota with governor pawlenty. i thought his response was interesting in terms of framing on the economy against the administration. >> the economy is growing, on track to create on the order of 1.7 million jobs this year. if that happens, does the obama administration deserve credit for a turn-around? >> you can't push this much money into the economy in the near term and not have it have some affect. but what i would suggest to you is it's phony effect.
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i think you're going to see in 2011, 2012, you don't have the private economy pick up the slack of the phony inflation of the economy over the next couple of years. you're going to trigger a whole set of other adverse events including potentially inflation. but president obama, if this economy recovers and stays recovered will get due credit. but i would suggest to you, at least in the intermediate and long term, that's not what's going to happen. >> e.j.? >> the jobs create friday the stimulus are largely in the private sector. it's rule number one of economics that when the government pushes out this money, it has an effect across the economy. see if governor pawlenty will give them credit in two years if the economy is moving. you should have him back on. >> we'll do that. we'll leave it there. thank you both. you can watch our entire "meet the press" across america forum with governor pawlenty. it's on our website
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[ male announcer ] experience 4g from sprint. it's more than a wireless network. deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilities, it's a wireless revolution. access a quick programming note this morning. stay with nbc news for continuing coverage of the oil spill including special editions of "nightly news" with brian williams, reporting from louisiana gulf coast tuesday and wednesday evening. that's all for today. we'll be away next sunday during the sports coverage of the french open. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." as we leave you this memorial day weekend, we honor and remember all those men and memorial day weekend, we honor and remember all those men and women who
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